The impact that Crossrail will have on the central London areas it serves has been much examined, but at the outer edges of the line there are towns and villages which will benefit by proximity.
Research by Savills indicates that for each minute saved on a journey to work, the value of a property rises by £1,937. The Crossrail beneficiaries are spread around the home counties from Buckinghamshire to Essex.
At present, residents of Stoke Poges drive to Slough to pick up a train to Paddington, or travel to Gerrards Cross for services to Marylebone. From 2018, they will have an extra, and for many more appealing, option: Crossrail services from Langley, four miles from the village. Buckinghamshire
For those whose journey to work does not end in west London, this will provide a swifter, easier commute. Geoff Collins, a director of sales and lettings agents The Frost Partnership, said: “I don’t think that people have properly appreciated the benefits of the service. It will make commuting to the City, in particular, easier.”
Stoke Poges is spread out and not a pretty-pretty village but it has good facilities, with a parade of shops, several pubs, a golf club, proximity to Burnham Beeches, and a school rated “good” by Ofsted. Homes range from the Victorian to the modern. Prices range from £175,000 for a one-bedroom flat in a modern development to £2 million-plus for a period pile with five bedrooms.
This medieval village is a hidden gem, in part because it sits in open countryside. It is, says Tania Nickelson, branch manager at Hilbery Chaplin, a quintessential English village, surrounded by woodland, with a green, an annual fair and duck pond. Essex
Blackmore has two pubs with restaurants, a primary school rated “good” by Ofsted, a post office, village shop and community centre and sports club. At present, commuters drive the five miles to Shenfield to pick up a train to the City (Liverpool Street, from 23 minutes).
When Crossrail opens, they will be able to travel direct to the City, West End or Heathrow. Crossrail fares have not yet been set but are likely to reflect current Network Rail prices — in which case an annual season ticket will be around £3,300.
There is a huge range of property in the village, ranging from 15th century in the centre to new build at the outskirts. A classic timbered property close to the green, with four bedrooms, would cost around £580,000 to £600,000, while a Georgian house with four or five bedrooms would be priced at £800,000-plus.
At the far reaches of the Central line, Wanstead is on the cusp of London and Essex and, appropriately, has a real urban village feel. It is loved by families for its independent shops and cafés, gastropubs, leafy streets and wealth of open space. Redbridge, E11
Most property is Victorian and Edwardian — and a three-bedroom terrace or semi-detached family house would cost in the region of £550,000 to £600,000. A cheaper option would be to buy a similar property on the Aldersbrook estate, built just over 100 years ago.
When Crossrail opens, Aldersbrook will be perfectly placed to take advantage of the Manor Park station five or 10 minutes’ walk away for services straight to London.